IITA-Tanzania has handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture 2000 copies of the National Cassava Development Strategy, a roadmap to guide cassava commercialization and industrialization initiatives in the country. IITA had offered to support the government in editing and printing the copies.
The books were handed over to the Ministry at their headquarters in Dodoma on behalf of IITA by Bahati Maregeri, Assistant Project Manager, and received by Beatus Malema, Assistant Director of Crops Development, Agricultural Inputs and Cooperatives.
Malema expressed his appreciation to IITA for technical and financial support in producing the books.
“The development of this national cassava strategy has been a long-term process faced with many technical and financial challenges. We appreciate IITA for supporting the government in the process. This book provides a roadmap for the development of cassava in the country. We hope to have more strategy books for other crops too,” Malema noted.
The National Cassava Development Strategy provides strategic interventions that focus on increasing the crop’s current production three-fold to meet growing demand. The strategy aims at contributing to the implementation of major commitments outlined in the National Agriculture Policy (2013) and the second phase of the comprehensive Agricultural Sector Development Program (ASDP II) towards transforming the agricultural sector in Tanzania.
“Cassava is a priority crop for IITA. We see much-unexplored potential in the crop to transform Tanzania’s agriculture and economy. It was our pleasure to work with your team to complete the editing and printing of the national cassava strategy, which we see as an important document for the crop’s development in the country,’’ said Maregeri.
Technical and financial support was provided by the Building an Economically Sustainable Cassava Seed System in Tanzania (BEST Cassava) project that aims to increase agricultural productivity and farm income of smallholder cassava farmers through access to improved cassava seed varieties. IITA leads the project in collaboration with national partners: the Tanzania Agriculture Research Institute (TARI), MEDA, and Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI).